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Branding: Good for Me, Bad Hygiene

Before you read this I must emphasize that I did not have a stable mindset when I did this branding. I would not suggest any of the methods I used here to do your own branding as they were not hygienic or even close to proper equipment. Normally I am a fiend for going to my favorite artists to get work done (read my other experiences), but this wasn't a normal situation.

I had moved into my new apartment maybe two months before this. I had come to realize that I enjoyed the tranquility of not having to share my living quarters with another person, except on nights like this. I don't hear voices per say, but I do get certain urges from time to time. Not normal urges, such as eating or sleeping, but compulsory ones which I obsess over if I fail to distract myself. That night I was failing miserably and sending myself into a rather chaotic and distorted mindset.

You've got a gas stove. You've never had a gas stove before. <shut up> It makes flames that can heat things up. <shut up> You don't have a brand. You could brand yourself with flames that hot. <stop it> Use a spatula <it's plastic> you could use a knife <what cut and brand?> the flat side <and screw up a good knife?> they were cheap, a dollar for five, you want more anyway, you're getting more for christmas..... <no> you've never had a brand before, your cutting healed so beautifully <.......>

And so I sat on the couch, contemplating every move I would make in the kitchen behind me. I went and turned on the light in there to stare at this flame-bearing stove. I sat on the linoleum and the internal argument repeated itself. Slowly, I stood up and opened the kitchen drawer where my utensils were. I took out one of the cheap knives (they were really cheap) and looked at it. Stupid knife, all bendy and made like crap... I hate you. Half-heartedly I rinsed it in the sink and dried it. I began to stare at the stove again, waving a finger over the hole above the little pilot light.

Not wanting some stupid, meaningless junk to come of this chaos I thought about the whats and wheres of the brand. My arm had been asking for something for a while, all previous mods easily hidden by a tank top, it was time to take a step in the "public" direction. I began to recall the red lipstick slashes I used to make on my upper arms when I played "indian" as a kid (only child, tomboy, rural area, you do the math). Which arm? Being left handed, the choice was pretty clear from the start if I wanted this to turn out right (ha). You must realize that my childhood is actually one of the few points in life where everything was "right" and "good", all that going down the crapper when I turned 11 and had reality dropped on me like a ton of horse manure. Have been recovering ever since. Therefore a childhood memory is actually a truly positive thing for me.

So, after some time of standing in front of the stove, waving my finger like the dazed idiot I was at the time I reached down and turned on the front burner. Fire and I are friends, I hate gas stoves. The flames pop up in a blue/orange circle and I mechanically held the knife blade over the burner in my left hand, at the same time contemplating what I would do to keep my right arm from flying up and leaving a stupid looking scar to mark me for all time as a foolish, impulsive person not to be trusted with gas stoves.

Around the time the blade of the knife turned red I decided that pinning my wrist between the counter and my hip was the best bet for securing my cowardly right arm. This was not as awkward of a move as it would have been for a shorter person, and in one deft turn I had my wrist pinned and the knife (unsharpened edge towards me) poised near my deltiod.

[breathe in] I can hear distant piercers/cutters whisper... inhale... ssssss hot metal on flesh -count to ten- pull knife away.. pink of open wound cauterized stinking up my new yellow kitchen. [breathe out fool!] exhale... pain? I think the cauterizing made it vanish at the count of three.

One lonely line, that's not enough <you're right> Without a second thought I reheat the knife to bright red and get ready without pinning my arm this time. As it got to temperature I brought it into parallel just below the first line, pressed lightly, slid a little and pressed harder and longer than the first time... more cautery stink. When I pulled the knife away I was fascinated by what I had done, and made a sudden return to planet earth mentally.

Those two lines belonged on me. They are more like pointy-ended ovals (press a flat, narrow edge firmly onto your arm and look at all of what it touches), and look, well.... natural.

The healing was nothing spectacular, just lots of itching and picking off scabs as they loosened (ewww gross! says the unscarred, squeemish type). I never really get any questions about the lines now that they've healed and don't have that "fresh wound" draw to them. Again, I don't suggest doing mods like this, but those of us in certain mindsets make exceptions (perhaps foolishly) when it comes to subduing chaos for a night. I don't regret doing this, I like the brands, I just don't want someone with a narsty infection writing and saying "you didn't tell me... etc." Yeah, take this for what it's worth, this is for all the people out there with demons that demand a little to much attention at times.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 June 2002
in Scarification

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Artist: me
Studio: kitchen
Location: NM

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